Canada and Israel sign new free trade agreement

A new, expanded Canada-Israel free trade agreement includes an unprecedented chapter on gender equality, said federal Minister of International Trade François-Philippe Champagne.

Minister Champagne, who traveled to Montreal on Monday to sign the deal with Israeli Economy Minister Eli Cohen, said the uniqueness of the agreement lies in an article that places the section on gender equality within the larger framework of the dispute settlement mechanism.

Messrs. Champagne and Cohen were officially to sign the agreement at the end of the day in a ceremony closed to the media.

Both governments must ratify the agreement for it to come into force.

Frontiers subject to litigation

The original agreement between Canada and Israel had been in place since January 1997. In 2017, trade between the two countries was valued at about $ 1.7 billion.

Negotiations to update the agreement began under the leadership of former Prime Minister Stephen Harper in 2014 and were concluded under Justin Trudeau’s Liberals.

The new agreement maintains a requirement that goods coming from the West Bank be labeled as coming from Israel, even though Canada does not recognize that the country controls that territory, which has been occupied since 1967.

A man from Winnipeg is challenging a decision by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency in 2017 that allows two wines produced in the West Bank region to be sold in Canada with the label “Product of Israel “.

According to the agreement, “Israel” refers to any territory where the customs laws of the country apply.

Mr. Champagne assured that the new agreement respected international law.

“It’s a simple issue. In international law, the way a territory is defined is the physical territory where the customs laws apply, “he explained.

“We believe the determination of the Canadian Food Inspection Agency is reasonable and acceptable,” he added.

“We will learn from you”

The decision to include a chapter on gender equality was made at the initiative of Canada.

Chapter 13 states that both countries “recognize the importance of including a gendered perspective on promoting inclusive economic growth”.

“We will learn from you and implement this [gender chapter] in our upcoming free trade agreements,” Eli Cohen told the event.

“This agreement, which we will sign later, includes more than 2000 tax-free products in the food and agriculture sectors,” he said.

The agreement expands market access for both countries and includes chapters on new issues, including e-commerce and intellectual property.

The arrival of right whales forces the closure of a new fishing area

Fisheries and Oceans Canada is announcing the upcoming closure of another fishing area adjacent to the exclusion zone due to the arrival of right whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

The federal agency explains the decision after at least two right whales were seen Sunday.

The area covered by this temporary closure is adjacent to the exclusion zone already delineated by the federal government. This 14,000-square-kilometer region of the Gulf of St. Lawrence has been closed to fishing since April 28 to protect right whales, which is where 90% of marine mammals were observed last year.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada is announcing the upcoming closure of another fishing area adjacent to the exclusion zone due to the arrival of right whales in the Gulf of St. Lawrence.

The federal agency explains the decision after at least two right whales were seen Sunday.

The area covered by this temporary closure is adjacent to the exclusion zone already delineated by the federal government. This 14,000-square-kilometer region of the Gulf of St. Lawrence has been closed to fishing since April 28 to protect right whales, which is where 90% of marine mammals were observed last year.

Fisheries and Oceans Canada reminds fishers that they are required to consult the advice issued by the government agency.

Lockers seized

The federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans also confirms that fishery officers seized snow crab traps in the exclusion zone.

An investigation is underway.

At least 18 right whales died in Canadian and US waters last year. Scientists who conducted the autopsy of carcasses concluded that many of these whales have died entangled in fishing gear or struck by ships.

At least one person buried by an avalanche near Nordegg

One person was buried under snow by an avalanche near Nordegg, at the foot of the Alberta Rockies, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) said.

Staff Sergeant John Spaans reported that this person was conscious and breathing, but no other details about his health status have filtered.

Police received an emergency call at approximately 2:00 pm (local time) reporting an avalanche affecting four people on Mount Kitty Hawk.

The RCMP was told that a person dropped 200 to 300 meters along what they describe as an ice climbing route. Doubt persists as to whether it was the person buried under the snow.

The security forces were dispatched to the scene and asked for help from a rescue helicopter.

The air ambulance service also reported on Twitter that it was intervening in the area.

Avalanche risks in Alberta parks were “considerable” Saturday, according to the Parks Canada website. The hazard level is considered dangerous and requires “conservative decision-making.”

Alberta dentist foundl guilty of professional misconduct

Accused of causing irreversible brain damage in his 4-year-old patient, Dr. William Mather was convicted on Friday of professional misconduct. The Alberta Dental Association and College found that he had committed serious offenses before and after anesthesia.

Amber Athwal had undergone dental surgery under general anesthesia at William Mather’s office in September 2016. She had suffered a cardiac arrest after the procedure and was rushed to hospital undergoing respiratory assistance. She spent several months in the hospital and was able to find, in part only, the use of its members and speech.

Dr. Mather, now retired, faced five charges of professional misconduct. The college opened its trial in October and found him guilty on all five counts.

“Dr. Mather has committed serious violations of his professional and moral duty,” concluded the report by the college.

Amber’s father, Ramandeep Singh Athwal, said his family was satisfied with this judgment. “We are grateful [to the college] for taking our case seriously and helping us find answers,” he said.

“On the other hand, we are heartbroken to know that all this could have been avoided,” added the father.

The college determined that Dr. Mather had failed in his duty:

  • to obtain Amber’s parents’ informed consent and to discuss with them the risks and benefits of treatment and general anesthesia;
  • to establish whether the girl had drunk and ate before anesthesia;
  • to ensure that the anesthetic gases were extinguished before leaving the room;
  • to maintain Amber under perfusion during the postoperative phase;
  • correctly monitor Amber’s vital signs during and after surgery;
  • to ensure that Amber was continuously monitored by a competent and qualified staff member;
  • to ensure that a physical examination was conducted, including a pre-anesthetic evaluation.

The college also concluded that Dr. Mather had not responded adequately to the emergency. He did not, for example, call the helpers quickly enough.

“Unfortunately, Dr. Mather and his staff […] were not fully trained or prepared to prevent and manage this medical emergency,” wrote Jack Scott, president of the college court.

The next step will be to decide the penalty against the dentist. The girl’s family sued Dr. Mather for $26.5 million.